When will it end, the Bush Administration will ask the US Congress for an additional $10.6 billion (5.4 billion pounds) to aid Afghanistan.
According to reports, the aid request would include $8.6 billion for training and equipping Afghan security forces and would go toward increasing the size of Afghanistan’s national army by 70,000 and its local police forces by 82,000, a senior American official familiar with the issue stated to reporters.
The additional $2 billion would go toward reconstruction projects for building roads, laying electric power lines, developing rural areas, and counternarcotics efforts.
An American general, Dan K. McNeil, is taking command of the NATO mission in Afghanistan next month, taking over from a British officer.
Reports state that the NATO-led force remains about 15 percent short of the troop and equipment levels pledged by its contributing nations, a point that is bound to be of contention during Friday’s scheduled NATO meeting in Brussels to discuss Afghanistan.